The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is a scheme that mobilises about 350,000 corps members every year to serve the nation and foster national unity, according to its Director General, Brig. Gen. Dogara Ahmed.
He made this remark while delivering a lecture on “Harnessing the Potentials of the Nigerian Youths for National Unity and Development” at the 5th convocation lecture of the Edo State University, Uzairue.
He was represented by Ladan Baba, Director, South South Zone, who said that the NYSC is the largest youth organisation in Africa and has exposed the participants to the diversity of the nation and enhanced their understanding and appreciation of it.
He said that the NYSC was established as a strategic public policy to implement the government’s post-war plan of reconciliation, reconstruction, and rehabilitation (RRR).
“The NYSC was a significant step towards youth engagement; it mandated qualified graduates of universities and other tertiary institutions to participate in a one-year service programme to foster national unity and provide opportunities for the youth to contribute to community development”, Ahmed said.
He said that the NYSC has created an opportunity for establishing life-long relationships among the youth and has also achieved a lot in the area of cultural integration.
He explained that the scheme has the objective of developing common ties among the youths and promoting national unity by ensuring they are assigned to jobs in states other than their state of origin, with the intent of removing prejudice and eliminating ignorance among the young graduates.
The DG added that the scheme also aims to inculcate discipline in Nigerian youth by instilling in them a tradition of industry at work and of patriotic and loyal service to Nigeria in any situation they may find themselves in.
And to raise the moral tone of the Nigerian youth by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievements and social and cultural improvement; to develop in the Nigerian youth the attitude of mind acquired through shared experience and suitable training, which will make them more amenable to mobilisation in the national interest.
He said that to achieve these objectives, the service corps ensures equitable distribution of members and effective utilisation of skills in areas of national need, such as when members are assigned to work together in states other than their state of origin.
The DG, however, called on the state governments to live up to their statutory responsibilities under the scheme in the provision, maintenance, and upgrading of camp facilities.
He also said that the NYSC has played enormous roles in the promotion of national unity and development through the mobilisation of youth corps members.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, thanked the Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Emeritus Thomas Okpo.K. Audu, who he said contributed immensely to the success story of the university.
He also thanked the DG of NYSC, who delivered the 5th convocation lecture on “Harnessing the Potential of Youth for National Unity and Development”, saying it was a clarion call and an earnest plea to acknowledge the immense capabilities residing within the youth and the role they play in shaping the future of Nigeria.
He congratulated the graduating students and advised them to take a leap of faith and believe in themselves, their abilities, and their dreams, noting that the belief will propel them forward, allowing them to surmount obstacles and reach for the stars.
“Achievement is not a destination; it’s a continuous journey that requires dedication, hard work, and an unwavering commitment to excellence”, he said.